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Critter Crates Bring Wildlife to Classroom 
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Post Critter Crates Bring Wildlife to Classroom

Today’s fast-paced, technology-driven society offers students many quick and effective means for learning about our world. But how can we engage children in the wonder of the outdoors via a monitor alone?

Critter Crates from the Division of Wildlife (DOW) provide teachers and students tangible materials such as hides, nests, and skulls, as well as background resources and lessons to round out their wildlife studies. This free supplementary curricula from the DOW provides an engaging, hands-on approach that is available to all Colorado teachers, scouts, homeschoolers, nature centers and youth groups.

“Today’s children don’t have as many opportunities to get outside and experience the sights, smells and sounds of nature,” said Debbie Lerch, Northeast Region Education Coordinator, DOW. “We are happy to offer these materials, which have been used by 11-12,000 Metro-area students per year since 1999, to give kids a real feeling for Colorado wildlife.”

Each Critter Crate is designed around a theme or specific species, and is available for loan for 2-3 weeks at a time. We offer 17different crates with titles ranging from Bears to Hertiles (reptiles and amphibians):

Animal Signs
Aquatic Adventures
Compass Sets
Early Childhood
Field-trip resources
Safari in a Box (CO mammals)
Urban Wildlife
Urban Wildlife Puppet Show

Response to the Critter Crates has been very positive and powerful: “On behalf of the pre-school students that were able to interact with the bear and deer pelts, skulls and footprints, I would like to thank you... The kits made it to four different pre-school classrooms and all the students showed quite an interest,” wrote Mike Plansker, Vision/Orientation & Mobility Specialist, Adams Twelve Five Star Schools. “My blind student especially enjoyed interacting with the bear pelt and talked about it for days. This was a wonderful opportunity for these students to interact with objects they normally would not have the chance to see up close. Thank you for providing this opportunity for these students.”

To order these comprehensive resources, call 303-291-7386, or go to our website at Crates can be picked up at our Denver office, or arrangements can be made for delivery. Please call at least two weeks in advance to ensure availability.

"The Critter Crates are one of the best resources I've found to help supplement and enhance classroom curriculum. Kids LOVE all the different 'things' inside the crates from bones to hides and eggs to nests and teachers love all the great ideas for making their curriculum come ALIVE!, said Charmaine Brittain, MSW, Ph.D., Program and Research Manager at the Butler Institute for Families, University of Denver. “They are one of the few resources out there that is free and so readily available to classrooms. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has done a wonderful job of putting these crates together and making them accessible to the schools. Thank you!!”

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is proud to offer learning materials for groups of all ages—for additional information, go to:

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is the state agency responsible for managing wildlife and its habitat, as well as providing wildlife related recreation. The Division is funded through hunting and fishing license fees, federal grants and Colorado Lottery proceeds through Great Outdoors Colorado.

Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:54 am
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